Volunteering and Service in the Community
Our programme of civic engagement offers opportunities to many of our pupils to work in our 6 local partner primary schools in breakfast and after school clubs and as mentors and classroom assistants. Up to 70 of our Year 10 and 11 pupils are so engaged.
Around 250 of our pupils are involved every year in volunteering of one sort or another, with many placements being directed towards supporting education in the community. Our pupils support the primary schools in literacy, language development and numeracy acting as classroom assistants.
At St Andrew's boys club, the Rugby Portobello Trust and SE! United, some of our year 12 and 13 boys are acting as academic mentors in homework clubs providing support for the boys and girls who attend in the evenings. A large number of our pupils volunteer at Garside House and the Pullen centre working for the elderly and at St Thomas's Hospital on the Evelina Children's ward. Students volunteer at the Coin St centre in Southwark in as academic tutors for students in key stages 2, 3 and 4, across a range of subjects.
We also facilitate volunteering to support young people with special educational needs and disabilities, for example in a local swimming group for disabled children, or at Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children, where 7 students support primary age pupils on a weekly basis, using their BSL skills.
During the year, we support local charities with specific initiatives, ranging from hamper-packing for the elderly for In-Deep, to community gardening in Lambeth, to supporting local museums prepare new exhibitions (such as the Migration Museum Project). Students have recently designed teaching materials for use by London ESOL charity Speak Street.
Students undertake regular volunteering in local charity shops, such as Oxfam in Pimlico.
Five years ago, the Governing Body felt pupils should become more actively involved in developing social awareness and creating a culture of service within the school. A programme of civic engagement, foundered in volunteering placements was developed and pupils are expected to have committed to at least one volunteering placement during their time at Westminster. There is a range of opportunities which pupils can register for and this is administered by the Head of Civic Engagement.
Throughout the academic year. Placements last a minumum of a term. Some pupils remain with the same organisation for the entire year.